BRITAIN has registered two more monkeypox infections as health chiefs scramble to find the source of the outbreak.
Health bosses confirmed the latest infected Britons live in London and the South East and have no links to other cases or travelled to hotspots.
That brings the total of the latest outbreak, which began on May 6, to nine.
It's understood that most patients are either gay or bisexual men and officials say the pattern of transmission is "highly suggestive of spread in sexual networks".
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the two latest cases may have acquired the virus though community transmission.
Health authorities say the virus spreads through close contact and areadvising people to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions on their body, especially on their genitalia, and to seek medical assistance if they have concerns.
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Monkeypox has not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection, though it can be passed on by direct contact during sex.
It can also be passed on through other close contact with a person who has monkeypox or contact with clothing or linens used by a person who has monkeypox.
UKHSA is working closely with the NHS to urgently investigate how and where the men got infected.
The virus does not usually spread easily between people. The risk to the UK population remains low.
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Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at UKHSA, said: "These latest cases, together with reports of cases in countries across Europe, confirms our initial concerns that there could be spread of monkeypox within our communities.
"UKHSA has quickly identified cases so far and we continue to rapidly investigate the source of these infections and raise awareness among healthcare professionals.
"We are particularly urging men who are gay and bisexual to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service without delay if they have concerns. Please contact clinics ahead of your visit.
"We are contacting any identified close contacts of the cases to provide health information and advice."
Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.
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A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.
The rash changes and goes through different stages, and can look like chickenpox or syphilis, before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.
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